Killing the Bismarck – Paperback Edition
Killing the Bismarck
The paperback edition of ‘Killing the Bismarck’ has now been published. It contains a new section of material that aims to further our understanding of this pivotal event in the Second World War, namely the pursuit and destruction of the German Navy’s flagship in May 1941.
It contains fresh eyewitness testimony to what happened during key phases of the Bismarck Action. Such material proves that, more than seven decades on from events at the heart of the drama, our perceptions of what really happened can still evolve.
Aspects of the story recounted in the hardback edition stirred up controversy, particularly the suggestion that some of Bismarck’s men may have tried to surrender at the height of the battle.
The new material includes a look at other contentious episodes in the Bismarck Action, including which Swordfish was responsible for causing crucial damage to the German battleship’s steering and cruiser HMS Dorsetshire’s part in saving some of the Bismarck’s crew.
The new edition again features the powerful painting ‘The End of the Bismarck’ by Paul Wright on its cover. The spine retains the composite image of a Swordfish (using a photo by Jonathan Eastland with Paul’s work). This is meant to depict one of the Ark Royal’s aircraft turning away without dropping her torpedo on the morning of 27 May 1941, which is a realistic depiction of events.
‘Killing the Bismarck’ paperback edition review in Navy News (May 2014 edition) – Click for larger version.
‘the definitive account of the
British part in the battle’
Pen & Sword Maritime
Published: 28 February 2014
Any enquiries regarding ‘Killing the Bismarck’ should be
emailed direct to Iain Ballantyne
‘The definitive account of the British part in the battle.’
‘The paperback edition provides some fascinating updates to Iain Ballantyne’s earlier hardback and is justly recognised as the definitive account of the British part in the battle.’
Julian Stockwin on julianstockwin.com
'I have just finished reading Iain Ballantyne's magnum opus - an aphorism I use entirely without irony, for “Killing the Bismarck” is a truly towering work.It will surely become - indeed I imagine it is already - a “must read” for any future historian looking at these dramatic and terrible events.’
Rob White, award-winning documentary filmmaker, whose notable works include `The Battle of Hood and Bismarck'
‘...an excellent account of the short lived operations of the Bismarck...Despite knowing the outcome of the events of May 27, 1941, Iain Ballantyne has managed to pen a suspenseful narrative that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.’
Ballantyne energetically moves readers page-by-page through the action, using perspectives from sailors aboard the many British warships and in the cockpits of the Swordfish torpedo-bombers. Through firsthand viewpoints, readers experience the loss of Hood with only three survivors, the frantic air and sea search to re-establish contact with Bismarck, and the gripping action as carrier-launched aircraft and an assortment of British naval vessels aggressively hunted and sank Bismarck. This book would appeal to a history enthusiast as well as a professional naval historian as an excellent and concise one-volume history of Bismarck, or a launching point into the many more detailed technical, naval, and political history aspects.’
Chris Cartellone , Texas A&M University, writing in the (US-based) Nautical Research Journal.
I commend Mr Ballantyne for his very honest account of the necessity to utterly destroy the Bismarck, thus avenging the loss of over 1,400 men from HMS Hood. It is riveting and very well written. He describes one aspect about war at sea that few other authors have. Specifically, he gives us a real sense of the remorselessness of the sea on the body and mind; the horrific effects of explosives on a ship and on the flesh of its sailors. He conveys the meaning of the totality of warfare upon the great waters.’
Captain John Rodgaard, United States Navy (Retired) writing in The Mariner’s Mirror.
‘The title, “Killing the Bismarck”, reflects the determination of all involved, including Winston Churchill himself, to see the German battleship destroyed and the catastrophic loss of the Hood avenged. The author goes beyond the Bismarck episode to tell what happened to the ships of the Royal Navy later in the war. Finally, there is a discussion of a number of the myths and uncertainties surrounding the Bismarck affair. This is probably the best dramatic narrative of the “killing”, told not only in terms of steel and ordnance, but also flesh and blood.’ Warship World
‘This is one of the most compelling accounts of a naval battle that I had read, with some of the best (and most brutal) descriptions of the fighting itself.’
History of War.org